10 Facts About The Game Of Soccer
Soccer has a a long and storied history, with variations of the game dating back as far as three-thousand years in China and Japan. Soccer as we know it today is the most popular sport in the world. It is played in almost every single country in the world and attracts billions of fans to arenas and televisions screens each year. As of late, the game of soccer has exploded in popularity in the United States as well. We are slowly catching up to the likes of other top countries in terms of skills and fandom. In order to help catch you up to speed on what this sport is all about, let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts that you definitely never knew about soccer.
1) A soccer field is known as a “pitch” because every regulation field is pitched (sloped) 5 degrees upwards from one end to the other. The teams switch sides after each half so that each team has to play slightly uphill for half the match.
2) There are 32 panels on a traditional soccer ball, one for each country in Europe!
3) A professional soccer player runs approximately 3.9 miles during an average soccer game. But it is common for some to run as much as 6 miles in a single game.
4) The sport of soccer was developed in London’s famed Newgate Prison back in the early 1800s. Prisoners who had their hands cut off for crimes of theft came up with a sport that used only the feat. From there, the game of soccer was born and has since grown into the sport we know it as today.
5) In Europe they refer to a soccer uniform has a kit and cleats as hooves.
6) Soccer balls may look like a sphere, but they are actually slightly oval-shaped. The checkerboard pattern creates the illusion of a perfect sphere.
7) Up until 1991, soccer was illegal in Mississippi.
8) Up until 1908, soccer balls were made of executed Irish prisoner’s inflated stomach tissue.
9) The very first American professional soccer league, USSA, played from 1919 to 1921. For every goal scored the player received 35 cents.
10) The original World Cup was made of papier-mâché. After heavy rains during the 1950 World Cup, however, it had to be replaced with a different material.